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The neuroimaging is an important tool for understanding the biomarkers and predicting treatment responses in major depressive disorder (MDD). The potential biomarkers and prediction of treatment response in MDD will be addressed in the review article. The brain regions of cognitive control and emotion regulation, such as the frontal and limbic regions, might represent the potential targets for MDD biomarkers. The potential targets of frontal lobes might include anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) and orbitofrontal cortex (OFC). For the limbic system, hippocampus and amygdala might be the potentially promising targets for MDD. The potential targets of fronto-limbic regions have been found in the studies of several major neuroimaging modalities, such as the magnetic resonance imaging, near-infrared spectroscopy, electroencephalography, positron emission tomography, and single-photon emission computed tomography. Additional regions, such as brainstem and midbrain, might also play a part in the MDD biomarkers. For the prediction of treatment response, the gray matter volumes, white matter tracts, functional representations and receptor bindings of ACC, DLPFC, OFC, amygdala, and hippocampus might play a role in the prediction of antidepressant responses in MDD. For the response prediction of psychotherapies, the fronto-limbic, reward regions, and insula will be the potential targets. For the repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation, the DLPFC, ACC, limbic, and visuospatial regions might represent the predictive targets for treatment. The neuroimaging targets of MDD might be focused in the fronto-limbic regions. However, the neuroimaging targets for the prediction of treatment responses might be inconclusive and beyond the fronto-limbic regions. Copyright © 2021 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Chien-Han Lai. Fronto-limbic neuroimaging biomarkers for diagnosis and prediction of treatment responses in major depressive disorder. Progress in neuro-psychopharmacology & biological psychiatry. 2021 Apr 20;107:110234

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PMID: 33370569

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